LME 2016 to present information on laser processing of lightweight auto bodies

Laser technology enables the development of new car technology, finding use in lightweight design solutions for the car itself, integration of cost-efficient production processes, and the use of new materials. Ralf Kimmel (TRUMPF Laser System Technic), in his keynote presentation at the 2016 Laser for Manufacturing Event (LME), will expand on this theme, which he has addressed in a recent feature in Industrial Laser Solutions.

Typical metals used for lightweight applications are high-tensile and ultra-high-tensile steels, and non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and magnesium. In addition developers are increasingly focusing on non metals like plastics and fiber-reinforced plastics. Regardless of high-strength steel, non-ferrous metals, (fiber-reinforced) plastics, or even a combination of these, the laser is a suitable tool for joining these materials.

Laser cutting is an established technology for trimming car parts. Manufacturers look into the application of flaps and cutouts in the design of car body parts. Using flaps within the assembly process would be helpful for part-positioning. The overall high hardness has to be reduced in those specific areas in the press-hardened part to fulfill their intended task. TRUMPF has developed a laser heat treating process to reduce hardness in those specific areas. Beside the laser cutting process, a laser-based softening process can be applied. Hardness can be reduced more than 50% within seconds, with transition zones smaller than 15mm to the non-treated material.

These and other advances in lightweight body design implemented by laser processing will attract a large audience at the parallel conference at LME. Register now for the LME Laser for Manufacturing Event, the unique "industrial laser-only" exhibit in this hemisphere: www.laserevent.org.

Also, C-level executives are invited to the LME Summit that will be held April 25th prior to the exhibit opening. This special event allows business managers the opportunity to learn more about laser processes that improve productivity and profitability. Presentions include market overviews, key applications, and how to use the technology by senior executives from companies that can help you! To register for this separate event, please visit www.lia.org/lasersummit



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